Christian Apocalyptic Legislators Don’t Care About the Environment

Apparently over 40% of the U.S. congress believe that “environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.”I just want to start by saying that I don’t mean to make any Christians reading this upset — I’m sure this thinking doesn’t apply to the majority, but it’s enough of those in power that it disturbs me.

I only heard about this this morning, but apparently it’s old news (from last fall). Anybody else heard about this? Of course I had to look into it since I really didn’t believe it. The above-linked quotation is from an article by Glenn Scherer in Grist entitled “The Godly Must Be Crazy” which I found repeatedly quoted when doing searches on this topic. So that the above quotation isn’t taken out of context, here’s where it appeared in his article:

“Millions of … Christian fundamentalists [believe] that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed — even hastened — as a sign of the coming Apocalypse. We are not talking about a handful of fringe lawmakers who hold or are beholden to these beliefs. The 231 legislators (all but five of them Republicans) who received an average 80 percent approval rating or higher from the leading religious-right organizations make up more than 40 percent of the U.S. Congress.”

To explain the religious right’s position on this more, Scherer goes on to say:
“Why care about the earth when the droughts, floods, famine and pestilence brought by ecological collapse are signs of the apocalypse foretold in the Bible? Why care about global climate change when you and yours will be rescued in the rapture? And why care about converting from oil to solar when the same God who performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes can whip up a few billion barrels of light crude with a word?”

So I can try to understand the religious right’s stand on abortion, same-sex marriage, and stem-cell research, but the enviornment too? I don’t think the majority of Christians really buy into this, and its true proponents must have some alterior motives. I can’t help but think the legislators involved are using this as an excuse to undermine (and thus gain supports from opponents of) the Endangered Species Act of 1970 which has been “a problem” for many people, especially developers, for decades. Otherwise, this standpoint and justification seems a bit too far-fetched for me to comprehend…

One Response to “Christian Apocalyptic Legislators Don’t Care About the Environment”

Well, it looks like (barring Reagan’s secretary in 1981) no politician has *actually* stated their belief in this. Saying that 231 politicians believe this because they get approval from a conservative Christian group is just not fair of the linked article’s author.

But yeah– I think one of the disheartening things that _some_ Christians believe is that this world can be treated like a toy, since they believe another lies beyond it. Even in their own belief structure, though, I think a lot of Christians believe this life is a test, and squandering the gifts of nature will not get them on the A-list in heaven.
I’m sure that the majority of Christians are good, decent people. Out-liers always skew the appearance– like painting video gamers as evil after a few disturbed gamers shoot someone (a negative stereotype that events like the Child’s Play charity attempt to overcome).

Paradoxdruid - February 2nd, 2005 at 3:45 pm

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